Number of the Beast
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“”Woe to you, oh earth and sea.
For the Devil sends the beast with wrath,
because he knows the time is short.
Let him who hath understanding
reckon the number of the beast,
for it is a human number.
Its number is six hundred and sixty-six.
|—Our Lord and savior, |
The Number of the Beast refers to a comment in Revelation that is supposedly a mark of evil. It is commonly associated with the Antichrist, especially in popular culture. Popular culture also has a tendency to associate the Number of the Beast with Satan.
Old timey numerology
Traditionally, the Number or Mark of the Beast is 666; however, various translations[note 1] give 616 as the proper number. 616 is, ironically, the area code of Grand Rapids, Michigan — birthplace of Amway.
13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
666 or 616, and why does it matter?
Most Christians are blissfully unaware that there are no single texts of "The Bible" as "written"[note 2] just after Jesus's death. Instead, what we have are copies of texts that are themselves translations into Greek and Latin. Commonly, there are 3 different sources for what most Christians accept as "The Bible".
Two of those sources, the Greek Manuscripts and the Byzantium Manuscripts, clearly identify the number as 666 (χξς:). Two Papyrus scraps from untranslated sources state ἑξακόσιοι δέκα ἕξ, hexakosioi deka hex, 616.
And so what? Well, if you are a normal "I go to church now and then but don't really look for a 2nd coming" type of Christian, it's just an interesting fact about the nature of the Bible and how it was translated. If, however, you are trying to predict the End Of The World, or assign Anti-Christhood to particular darker skinned president(s) of relevant world power countries, and you believe that the Bible is inerrant, it suddenly matters a lot. All those kids with 666 in their Birth Certificate Numbers might be the wrong kids. We should have been looking at the kid born 50 kids earlier!
Scholars tend to believe the number refers to Roman Emperor Nero or to a different Roman Emperor. In both Hebrew and Greek, each letter of the alphabet also stands for a number; just as Roman numerals are formed by stringing a few specific letters together, so Hebrew and Greek numbers can be formed by stringing together any set of letters and adding their numeric values together. Consequently, any written word or name in Hebrew or Greek is also a number. The Latin for "Caesar Nero" can correspond to the number 666 in Hebrew, while the Greek for the name of "Emperor Caligula" can represent the number 616. The Emperor Domitian's name can also fit into the number 666, and it goes without saying that every word in the name of Ronald Wilson Reagan is 6 letters long.
Nero died in 68 CE and no worldwide cataclysm followed. The other Roman Emperors and Ronald Reagan died similarly without the world falling apart.
Get your kicks on Route 666
U.S. Highway 666 once ran through all four of the Four Corners states — Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. It ran from the U.S.-Mexico border at Douglas, Arizona, to Monticello, Utah. It was formed by consolidating several state highways into one route.
The highway's new number didn't sit well with the mostly Mormon and fundamentalist Christian right-wing local population that it served. Also, because the even-numbered highway followed a north-south route in a country that tends to assign odd numbers to north-south highways, many locals thought that the U.S. Department of Transportation had gone out of its way to thumb its nose at God. (It didn't help that the individual state highways that formed U.S. 666 were among the most dangerous highways in the Southwest.)
U.S. 666 was quickly nicknamed "The Devil's Highway." In the 1980s, Utah and Arizona successfully petitioned the federal government to reroute U.S. 191 — which had once served northern Utah — along several state highways in the eastern sections of their states. This plan included renumbering U.S. 666 as U.S. 191 between Douglas and Sanders, Arizona. This eliminated U.S. 666 in Arizona and moved the highway's southern terminus to Gallup, New Mexico. In 2003, after years of lobbying, the remainder of U.S. 666 was renumbered U.S. 491. Upgrading the highway to meet federal standards for U.S. Highway routes has reduced many of the old dangers, but it can still be a hazardous drive.
- The prophet Ellen Gould White of the Seventh Day Adventists, using some sleight-of-hand, claimed that the Roman Catholic Church uses "VICARIVS FILII DEI" (Vicar of the Son of God) as the official title of the Pope, and pointed out that the Roman numerals in that title add up to 666. Not willing to take this attack on their character lying down, the Roman Catholic Church countered that the Roman numerals in ELLEN GOVLD VVHITE also added up to 666, and that the Pope was Vicarius Christi at any rate.
- The Democratic European Union will become the beast of the apocalypse according to some.
- Aleister Crowley is the BEAST of 666 or is connected to the BEAST or something.
- 666 should not be confused with sex sex sex. However, in Latin, 666 would be read as 'sex sex sex', thereby proving that ancient people spoke a better language than you. Also, in the Greek of the original, 666 was written χξϛ — which could, at a stretch, be seen as "sex" spelled backwards. This is very worrying.
- Barcodes are reputed to contain 666. Each barcode has three spacer brackets resembling the bars for the number 6. Visually, they do superficially resemble sixes, but the spacer bar and the bar for 6 are slightly different in their positioning vis-a-vis blank spaces surrounding them, so bar code readers do not read them as sixes but as spacer brackets. Somebody designing the Universal Product Code probably had a sense of humor in making the spacer brackets look like sixes and including three of them. Further adding to the paranoia is that bar codes could theoretically be required as a mark on one's hand or forehead (there's even a patent for this, apparently) without which one cannot buy or sell, but since they aren't really sixes as far as the bar code reader is concerned, and have no conceivable connection to being the "name of the beast" or "the number of a man", this is just silly.
- In an apparent avoidance of the UPC, a company in the Philippines called Rain Enterprise used the phrase "IN GOD WE TRUST" in compressed type to mimic a barcode instead of the usual UPC code in all of their products, especially their Harry brand of tyre black, first released in 1985. Considering how they started the company during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, this might be plausible.
- The Number of the Beast is also an album by Iron Maiden with a kick-ass song with the same name.
- It's also a novel by Robert A. Heinlein, involving alternate universes and some very randy scientists, who spend most of their (non-sexy) time arguing over who's in charge of their vehicle.
- So common, along with the pentagram and other symbols in the early id Software games, especially Doom and Quake, that the manual of the game had an entry on the FAQ guaranteeing the player that the developers weren't Satan-worshippers.[note 3]
- In one year, Solomon received 666 talents of gold. Clearly King Solomon was the Antichrist!
- The Legend of Zelda, apparently.
- Every single goddamn corporate logo.[note 4]
- RFID is accused of being the mark by Alex Jones, a plethora of Youtube Videos,[citation NOT needed] and many other whack jobs who go on long ramblings (even Anonymous says it will happen)! It will be issued in
2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2020, or whatever. As you can see, no one can agree on when the hell this will happen, so there goes the credibility. But wait! Now that Bill Gates is involved with coronavirus vaccines, it's obvious that ID2020 is popular with theorists. Also, Magicbands from Disney World are part of the plot.
- The great seal of the United States.
- Apparently since it's becoming too "obvious" the Mark of the beast is yet to come, or something like that, the Mark is now said to be able to give you "superpowers", or "speed up evolution" or some other woo to make you want to take it. Also, out of context news reports prove it.
- Apparently we can get superpowers from ignoring a calendar that God gave us… or something. Also, since it's too
obvious to atheistssimplistic to think the Antichrist will enforce all laws the same way in each culture, he's going to give the illusion that there's still individual countries and this is totally in the bible. It wasn't made up because Christians want to make it harder and harder to get to their version of heaven. Whatever, the calendar is about to be changed, and in recent years, they already started talking about it! WAKE UP! Meanwhile, learn who the beast is and don't look in the descriptions. I'm not advertising alternative medicine.
- A 666-character change in Heaven on 13:24, 7 February 2015
- Germany's probably best-known sex hotline has the number 0190666666, so it'll drain your wallet two times as hellishly fast as the others!
- In the mid-17th century, many Christians believed the world would end in 1666, but despite being a fiery date in British history, Britain survived.
- The hand-held, gun-like, infrared thermometers so common those days thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic have been claimed by some Fundies to actually be devices that give people such a mark, as well as altering the mind of the ones whose temperatures are measured.
- Scott Adams supposedly found the number in Joe Biden's name and campaign slogan.
- Every Democrat President in the US is the Beast/Anti-Christ. Just ask any Evangelical Republican!
- Every Republican President in the US is the Beast/Anti-Christ. Just ask any liberal cafeteria Christian! (Actually, don't, they'll probably be too rational to take you seriously.)
- The bus line 666 in the autonomous community of Madrid, Spain. Ironically, one of its terminals is close to a large monastery and basilica, among other uses it's given, that it was built over an iron mine legends say to be the door to Hell.
- There's a Fundie pastor out there whose (mobile) phone number begins with "666". Cue a woman calling live telling him that number is Satanic, hanging up immediately, and said pastor having to explain that having such a number does not mean Satanism at all.
- The original Apple I personal computer kit, developed by Steve Wozniak as Apple Computer's first product, was sold for a low low price of $666.66. Woz claims he was unaware about the number's satanic connotations. His (previous) affiliation with Freemasonry would also surely make a conspiracy theorist blush.
In the media
Conspiracy theorists love to point out anything they see as the number of the beast to the world, even things that don't clearly contain sixes, such as the Google Chrome logo.
- See the Wikipedia article on 616.
- See the Wikipedia article on 666.
- A Fun Collection of Beastly Numbers
- The Skeptic's Annotated Bible on the BEAST
- The Same Bible Text in Modern English
- The Skeptic's Annotated Bible on the NUMBER of the Beast
- The NUMBER of the Beast in Different Translations
- 666 DECODED!! PROOF OF NAME OF THE BEAST
- The Greek Orthodox Bible and the Novum Testamentum Graece use 616.
- The better term would be "compiled", but most Christians again assume the authors of each book are one person as named.
- Sandy Petersen, a level designer who worked on the first two Doom games and Quake, is a practising Latter-Day Saint; however, he saw no conflict with his religion and the use of Satanic themes in the Doom series, further clarifying that "I have no problems with the demons in the game. They're just cartoons. And, anyway, they're the bad guys."
- Every symbol/logo in the world apparently represents a Sun, a Moon, an Eclipse, Saturn (The cult of Saturn), Pyramids, teh All-Seeing Eye, a G (Apparently Freemasonry), 666, a star, a serpent, light, the word "it" (don't ask, we don't know either), and some miscellaneous logos they had to try harder to shoehorn. What do ALL these symbols mean? ILLUMINATI! (TRANSLATION: You can't make a logo without us over-analyzing it.) Some logos even have 2 meanings! The Starbucks logo is both a 2-finned mermaid demon, AND Baphomet (Turn your latte upside down)?
- IRON MAIDEN LYRICS, DarkLyrics.com
- Vicarius Filii Dei by Robert R. Wresch, M.D. (1996)
- GN Commentary: November 30, 2009 - The EU: Still to Join the Heavyweights? by Ralph Levy (Published November 30, 2009; archived December 5, 2009) Good News Magazine
- The Great Beast – Aleister Crowley by Robert Anton Wilson (1971-1972) The Realist. Issues 91-B, September – October 1971; 91-C, November-December 1971; 92-A, January-Febuary, 1972; & 92-B, March-April, 1972.
- Barcodes Equals 666 The Beast! by Frank James (archived October 22, 2015) Holysmoke
- Patent Issued for Mark by Dr. Terry Watkins, Dial-the-Truth Ministries
- "INGODWETRUST" "barcode" on every bottle of Rain Harry Tire Black
- Kushner, David. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. Random House, 2003. pp. 144, 146
- 1 Kings 10:14
- ILLUMINATI LOGOS & CORPORATE SYMBOLS OF THE ILLUMINATI by Wayne Bush (archived June 11, 2020) Tricked By The Light
- just some idiot in a guy fawkes mask.
- Mickey Mouse Introduces The MARK of The BEAST with Magic Bands
- ooh, scary music
- See the Wikipedia article on Fifth Monarchists.
- Allison Hambrick, Dilbert Creator Says He's Found a Secret Satanic Message in Joe Biden's Campaign Slogan, CBR 28 Aug. 2020
- Blazeski, Goran (November 25, 2017). "Apple-1, Steve Wozniak's hand-built creation, was Apple's first official product, priced at $666.66". The Vintage News. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Ask Steve Wozniak Anything